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Michigan State University


Michigan State University is one of the most prominent colleges in Michigan. Many know the university for its athletic teams, which use the Spartan logo. Established in 1855, some of the leading degree programs in the world today originated on this large campus. It was one of the first schools to offer degrees in fields like supply chain management and music therapy. Professors working for the university did research into other fields like criminal justice and hospitality that changed the way others teach those subjects. Though the university opened with just one department and fewer than 100 students, it now has dozens of departments and a student body of more than 50,000. In addition to its head campus in East Lansing, MSU also has an active campus in Dubai.

It’s nearly impossible to think of Michigan State University without thinking about some of the recognition it received over the years. U.S. News and World Report, which ranked its graduate programs in secondary education and organizational psychology among the nation’s best, put MSU within the top 30 public colleges in the country. ARWU, Washington Monthly and Forbes all ranked MSU on a national level, and it ranks within the top 100 of colleges on a global scale on lists released by U.S. News and World Report, Times and ARWU. East Lansing, the town that surrounds the campus, has such a welcoming feel that many students remain in the city or close by and continue participating in campus activities after graduating.

Resource: 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest

Michigan State University Accreditation Details

As a large college, MSU has accreditation from a number of organizations for both its general program and for some of the specialty programs that it offers. A good example of its specialty accreditation is the recognition that comes from the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET), which accredited its programs in mechanical, materials science, environmental, electrical, civil, chemical and computer engineering. Its journalism program has accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences accredited its graduate program in forensics. MSU has specialty accreditation from other organizations, including the Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation, Liaison Committee on Medical Education, Society of American Foresters, National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences and American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. MSU received its regional and primary accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Michigan State University Application Requirements

Though MSU is more selective than other public colleges, it still accepts more than 60% of the applications that it receives every year. Freshmen students generally have an ACT score of 23 or higher and a cumulative grade point average in high school of at least 3.4. Students can speak with an admissions counselor before applying and make an appointment to tour the campus. The tour lets them learn more about the campus and even sit in on lectures. The university makes its decision based on test scores, extracurricular activities, class ranking, grades in high school and the classes students took.

Completing the application is easy and should only take around an hour. MSU gives students the chance to finish the application in one sitting or to come back and work on that application over an extended period of time. After finishing each section, students will need to submit the $50 application fee before the university will accept and process that application. They must then request that their high school guidance counselors submit their transcripts electronically and that the testing board submit official test scores to MSU. Home schooled students must submit a transcript and a letter of recommendation that shows they performed well in a high school program.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost of attending MSU is quite affordable for those who live in Michigan. Michigan residents face tuition charges of under $15,000 for taking a full semester of classes. Fees, room, board and other expenses will increase that amount to around $28,000 a year. MSU requires that students submit proof to show that they were residents of the state before applying. Anyone who cannot prove residency is subject to out of state tuition charges of more than $38,000 for tuition. The total amount that students from other states pay is more than $52,000 a year.

MSU processes the FAFSA that students submit to determine the amount of aid they need. Students will receive an aid letter in the late spring or early summer that tells them exactly how much the college will give them, where the money comes from and what they need to do next. Parent PLUS loans, Stafford loans, federal government grants and state government grants are some of the awards that students receive. Students can also earn up to $3,000 a year for participating in work-study programs on the MSU campus. Need-based scholarships are available for those who need more financial assistance, and the university offers a number of merit scholarships too. Students can apply for those scholarships immediately after receiving an acceptance letter.

Student Experience

As a member of the Big 10 Athletic Conference, Michigan State University places a high level of importance on athletics. Its basketball teams routinely make it to the championships and the March Madness tournaments every year. Though athletics are important, the campus offers hundreds of clubs and activities for students too, including clubs for those majoring in a specific field, those interested in history and those who want to work for the newspaper or radio. Between its bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and minor programs, MSU offers more than 400 programs in fields ranging from architecture and design to criminal justice and sociology.

MSU is unique because it pairs students with others who share the same interests as a freshmen. Campus residence halls group students of the same majors or similar majors together. This gives students the chance to live with and learn from their classmates. These residence halls are open to those studying subjects like engineering, environmental studies and business. MSU also offers a unity living experience that allows students from different backgrounds and those from around the world to live together. Michigan State University recommends that students interested in living in one of these facilities complete a housing application early in the year.